Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A yogurt update (and a cloth diaper one, too)

So my yogurt! People, I'm not gonna lie. It came out var var good. It's not super thick (tho I'm used to Greek these days so my thickness scale is warped), but I actually really enjoy that about it. It's got tang, but also a deep creamy mellowness (yes, I just wrote that) that can't be found in store bought stuff. And I just love so hard that it was made with milk + a tablespoon of yogurt + a spaghetti jar. It seems magical that it all came together...

Here's how (inspired by this article but in my own words):

1) Find what you want to store your yogurt in first. I recommend a glass mason jar or spaghetti jar or something of this sort. A plastic container could get all melty when you put the hot milk in there.

2) Pour some whole (you can do skim, but please! don't) milk into the container to measure how much you need. The mixture won't shrink or expand really, so how much milk you choose to use is how much yogurt you'll yield. Make sense?

3) Heat up the milk in a saucepan on the stove. Stir it constantly because milk can burn easily. I heated mine up at medium until it started steaming a lot and tiny little bubbles started forming around the sides. Maybe...10 minutes? Don't burn it!

4) Pour it into the jar. Let it sit another 10 minutes or so, until you can semi-comfortably hold your finger in there for 10 seconds. It should be like "Ooo, hot!" but not sending you to the ER.

5) Take a tablespoon of yogurt and put it into a little dish. I used Stonyfield plain, but I'm thinking vanilla or whatever would work fine. What matters most is that it has live cultures. I looked at labels and Stonyfield had 6 different kinds which seemed to be the most? So. Anywho. Mix a little of the hot milk with the tablespoon of yogurt until it's all creamy and blended.

6) Pour it into the jar of milk and stir a bit.

7) Find a warm place to let it hang out. I'm sure there are many different thoughts on this, but I wrapped mine in a towel and placed it under my oven light. (Not in the oven, just like on the stovetop under the light for a little bit of warmth?) I think the warmer it is, the less you need to leave it out. And the tangier you want it, the longer you leave it out. I made mine late-ish at night and wanted to go to sleep, so I left it out for like 9 hours. The article says you can do as little as 3. When I woke up at 6:00 with Harps, I made sure it looked yogurt-like and smelled tart and put it in the fridge. Then when it was cold, I tasted it and did a jig.

That's it, friends! And now I'll just make sure I save a tablespoon of this for my next batch. And on and on and it's a song that never ends, lambchop. I highly recommendy.

Oh and also this is happening:

GOD I love puffy morning face. (And a soft blue wool soaker.)

For a few weeks now, I've been back on the cloth diaper train. I just missed it. And since things (knock on wood) are smoother sailing these days and I have more time to do the crunchy things that complete my heart, I'm making it happen. Less rigidly than before (disposables at night, generally, and when cc's in charge) and a lot more simply. No more stuffed dipes or microfibers that always stunk up my pretty baby. Just a prefold and a cover, voila!

Of course I've found something new to obsess over in the cloth dipe world. WOOL COVERS. They're called soakers and are used in place of plastic (or whatever the hell that material is) covers. I don't really understand how it all works, because it's a piece of fabric absorbing pee what?, but it's so charming and cozy and great. I still use mostly the plastic covers because I wanted to go slowly and buy only 1 soaker, but I have to say...I'm hooked. They only very occasionally need to be washed (they get damp once the prefold is soaked, and then you just dry it out in the sun and somehow it smells fresh again?) and they even have long pant versions so...your diaper cover IS ALSO YOUR OUTFIT?! Somebody stop me, this is killing me.

Okay. I've lost you all at this point, no? I'll leave you now...Harps only napped 30 minutes today and Mama is beat.


  1. Hmm...I started cloth diapering. And I keep hearing snippets about this microfiber stank. I really like our diapers now and don't mind stuffing. I do have some prefolds too, but usually go with pockets since its just easy. You have me nervous!!!! Lol

  2. You can knit, right? There's lots of free soaker patterns on Ravelry. I saw a cute one which has a skirt over the top! I think you can 'lanolise' them which is what makes them waterproof?

  3. This whole yogurt scenario is rocking my foodborne illness world.

  4. That is insane - making yogurt? How would one even think of this. It's like making plastic or walls or something. It just IS. I don't think I'd trust myself!

  5. Wiki Answer:

    "Wool has also been traditionally used to cover cloth diapers. Wool fiber exteriors are hydrophobic (repel water) and the interior of the wool fiber is hygroscopic (attracts water); this makes a wool garment able to cover a wet diaper while inhibiting wicking, so outer garments remain dry. Wool felted and treated with lanolin is water resistant, air permeable, and slightly antibacterial, so it resists the buildup of odor. Some modern cloth diapers use felted wool fabric for covers, and there are several modern commercial knitting patterns for wool diaper covers."

    Also wool holds many times more the volume of water than cotton.

  6. So - can I pee on sheep instead of toilets? (or more accurately, just off our back porch)

  7. Unrelated - can we get a sheep?

  8. @Celina: I don't think the stank affects everyone! Maybe Harps is just super stanky ;) There's a v good chance yours will stay freshy; I think we all gotta roll with what's easiest for us when it comes to cloth!

    @Lyndall: I LOVE this idea! I've been wondering what to knit next (been on a major hiatus and I miss it) so this is perfect! Soakers go for 30 bucks or so, which is silly! I should make 'em myself (and then lanolize...)

    @Kalen: Cuz it seems weird to leave it out for so long? I agree... But it's all about those cute bacteria gettin busy. Yum.

    @Nik: I can also make plastic. And human skin.

    @Dad: Thanks for the research! Makes sense this was the go-to way for a long time. It's very "natural"

    @cc: I've already approved your off-the-porch pees. Just awaiting my pee-in-the-shower approval. And yes to sheep if yes to chickens.

  9. I like your yogurt instructions!

  10. So I made some yogurt yesterday following your instructions and it came out PHENOMENAL!! Best yogurt I've ever had. Truly.
    We all enjoyed our homemade yogurt on fresh peaches this morning :)
    I'm going to post the instructions too, if that's okay with you. I want to spread the yogurt love (and the MAJOR $$ savings).

  11. Oh heck yaz this makes me happy! Post away post away -- Spread the yogurt love! So glad it worked for you, too. Doesn't it just taste so much BETTER?! Woot!


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